1. When applying to MIT, must musicians apply or audition for the music program?

No. You only apply for admission to MIT. Once admitted, MIT students are welcome to take classes and audition for membership in the performance ensembles.


2. Should all prospective student musicians send a music supplement to admissions?

No. Only the most advanced performers who are interested in continuing their music studies and performance while at MIT, whether for credit or not, should submit a supplement for assessment by the music faculty. Supplements provide the admissions committee additional evidence of a student’s achievements. Only the top-rated supplements are considered by the admissions committee. Only supplements with an  “exceptional” rating will have an impact on an applicant’s chances of admission to MIT.  For information about supplements, contact admissions@mit.edu


3. Do you have to be a Music Major to take music subjects or to join the ensembles?

No. You don’t have to major or minor in music to take classes or participate in performance ensembles. Students may choose to take music to fulfill their SHASS Arts requirement, SHASS Concentration or a Music Minor, Major or Double Major requirement. Ensembles are open to all MIT students by audition, including graduate students. The only pre-requisite for membership in our ensembles is an audition. 


4. Are the ensembles competitive?

Incoming students tend to have had strong musical experiences in high school, and in many cases, private instruction. While making every effort to include as many students as possible, we try to select the strongest singers and instrumentalists that audition on any given semester.  However, all students with an interest in music performance should audition to find out if there are any opportunities available for them in a given ensemble for the upcoming semester.


5. How do I audition and when?

The basic requirement for instrumentalists is to perform one or two short pieces that best demonstrate musical and technical ability. You may also be asked to sight-read and play scales. Auditions start the first week of September. Most auditions are by appointment but some take place at the first scheduled class meeting of the group. For more information on auditions, please click here.


6. Are the ensembles available for credit?

Yes, but whether your membership is for credit or not, attendance and requirements are the same.


7. What are the rehearsal schedules?

Chamber Chorus

T/Th, 9:30-11am

Concert Choir M/W, 7-9:30pm
Festival Jazz Ensemble (FJE) T/Th, 5:00-7:00pm
Symphony Orchestra (MITSO) T/Th, 7:30-10pm
MIT Wind Ensemble (MITWE) M/W, 7-9:30pm
Rambax (Senegalese Drumming Ensemble) M, 7:30-9:00pm + 1 hr. TBA
Gamelan Galak Tika (Balinese Gamelan)  W, 7-10pm; Sun 4:30-6:30pm
Chamber Music Society, Jazz Combos
and Vocal Jazz Ensemble
One hour coaching/wk. by appointment


8. How many concerts do the ensembles perform?

MITSO, FJE and MITWE usually perform twice per semester, Chamber Chorus, Concert Choir, Rambax, Gamelan Galak Tika and the Chamber Music Society Ensembles (including the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos) usually perform one concert per semester.


9. Is it possible to take private lessons?

Yes, via the Emerson scholarship program you may audition to receive financial assistance to study with teachers in the Boston area. The deadline for application is August 21. If you are a beginner, the music faculty can make instructor recommendations if you can pay for lessons out of pocket.


10. What instruments, storage and practice facilities are available?

Instruments: We strongly encourage students to bring their own instruments to MIT. However, a small collection of MIT-owned instruments (wind, brass, percussion and string basses) is available for rent to students in our performing ensembles.  Instrument lockers: Lockers are only available on a first-come, first-served basis to students in our music performance ensembles. The instruments and lockers are signed-out by the Concerts Office.  Call (617) 253-2826, email performance@mit.edu or stop by the Concerts Office, 4-243. Practice rooms: There is a suite of eight practice rooms on the second floor of Building 4. They are accessible by ID card on a 24-hour basis to all students participating in music performance subjects, as well as to music majors.  In addition, there are six music classrooms on the first and third floors of Building 4. Piano scholarship students and students in Chamber Music Society are granted access to these rooms for practice, when not in use for classes. All of the classrooms have grand pianos; one classroom also has a harpsichord. For access, go to the Music Headquarters Office, Rm. 4-246 or email mta-request@mit.edu.


11.  If I have further questions, whom do I contact?
The Music and Theater Arts staff is here to help.  Email: performance@mit.edu, or stop by our offices, Room 4-243.